Change and Growth

You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change.” –Les Brown

Hi Persuader,

It’s not possible to avoid change. Sure, you can keep the same clothes, the same haircut, keep your house decorated the same, hold on to the same mate, try to keep your children close even as they go off to make their own lives and families, live in the same city, attempt to keep the same job, attend the same church, have the same friends — all of that — and still change happens — inner and outer. Our bodies age, knees start to creek, it’s harder to sleep through the night —

The two presidential candidates are bargaining that we want change. In the sense that the country isn’t doing as well as it should and could be doing, yes, people want change. Obama talks about McCain being “eight years of the same failed policies”. McCain has attempted to get in on distancing himself from these failed policies by using the phrase “change is coming”. And indeed, no matter what, change is coming.

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe has the right view of this: “We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.”

I have a friend who hated where she was living, disliked her job, and was unhappy in her relationship. To me, that’s three strikes and out. But she had a huge fear in making a change to a place she liked, a job she enjoyed, and a relationship that pleased her. It’s so much work. It’s scary. It’s uncomfortable to tell someone you quit or you want out of a situation. The unknown delights of a new life were a frightening prospect while the drudgery and frustration of the ‘known’ life kept her in a holding pattern for years. Really, it was just getting over the hump of “the hard parts”.

So change can be thrust upon you or you can initiate change. If you had been unhappily living in Galveston and were affected by Ike, your life has changed not due to your own maneuvering but because of a hurricane. If you hated your job at Lehman Brothers and you’d been wanting to quit, well, your life has probably changed as a result of outside forces.

We waste a lot of time trying not to change out of a multitude of fear. But wouldn’t it be better to make these choices of our own steam? It’s more empowering to have had an effect on our own lives instead of waiting for outside forces to change things for us.

Catherine the great said, ‘To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often.’ Let’s all strive to be perfect.

Until Next Time,

Kenrick E. Cleveland

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